Patents for Humanity Awards Competition

innovatorsPatents for Humanity is the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) awards competition recognizing innovators who use game-changing technology to meet global humanitarian challenges.

The program provides business incentives for reaching those in need: winners receive an acceleration certificate to expedite select proceedings at the USPTO, as well as public recognition of their work. The awards showcase how patent holders with vision are pioneering innovative ways to provide affordable, scalable, and sustainable solutions for the less fortunate.

Patents for Humanity submissions are evaluated on the effectiveness of their technology to address humanitarian issues, the contributions made by applicants to increase use of their technology among the impoverished, and the impact those contributions have made to improve lives. The program is open to all types of patent holders, applicants, and licensees.

The competition is open to any patent owners, patent applicants, or patent licensees. Applicants may team together to submit a single joint application as long as at least one applicant meets the eligibility criteria.

Applications for 2020 Patents for Humanity are being accepted until January 31, 2020.

Last year’s winners:

  • Medtronic – for creating a portable, low-water kidney dialysis machine for potential use in a wide variety of care settings, including those that lack the infrastructure required for traditional dialysis.
  • National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH/NIAID) and Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd. – for creating a low-cost, temperature tolerant rotavirus vaccine for use in developing countries, with 3.8 million doses ordered by the government of India’s childhood immunization program.
  • Little Sparrows Technologies – for creating a portable low-cost phototherapy device for treating jaundice in infants, which causes 100,000 newborn deaths a year.
  • Kinnos Inc. – for creating time-sensitive color chemicals to ensure proper disinfection procedures by health workers in Ebola treatment centers and other health care settings.
  • Russell Crawford – for creating tools for low-cost drilling of water wells to reach deep aquifers free from soil contaminants.
  • Brooklyn Bridge to Cambodia Inc – for creating an affordable rice planting device that helps Cambodian farmers improve their crop yields, and which minimizes the number of farmers, mostly women, who have to work in the most exhausting and unhealthy conditions.
  • Solight Design – for designing a portable solar light that has been distributed to over 200,000 people worldwide including many in refugee camp.
  • Sanivation LLC – for designing a waste processing plant that transforms human waste into sanitary briquettes that replace wood and charcoal for heating and cooking, with four plants serving 10,000 people in Kenya by the end of the year.
  • Because International – for distributing 180,000 pairs of resizable shoes in over 95 countries, with local manufacturing taking place in Ethiopia and plans for Haiti and Kenya.

Source: USPTO